About Us

Kohala Sail & Sea is family-owned and operated. At the helm is one of the most experienced charter boat captains you’ll ever meet, Capt. Steve Turner. Steve is a long-time Hawai‘i resident with an impeccable 25-year captains career, licenced by the US Coast Guard sailing with a 100-ton masters license with a sail endorsement. In addition to being an award-winning whale-watch captain during his tenure in Lahaina, Maui,  Steve has sailed across the Pacific Ocean between Hawai‘i and North America numerous times, sailed around all of the main Hawaiian Islands including Ni‘ihau and has explored the remote coastlines of Mexico and Canada under sail.

Capt. Steve and passengers dockside

Capt. Steve greets passengers dockside at Kawaihae Harbor South. Ethan Tweedie Photography

Steve has been immersed in the sailing world since he was 16 years old. It all started when he was first invited aboard a cruising sailing yacht off Lahaina by a family who was just passing through. They introduced him to the wind and seas, dolphins and whales and a completely different way of life. From then on, his focus was to own his own bluewater cruising boat and set sail. Steve started his career working as crew for Lahaina charter boats and eventually purchased his first cruising boat in 1987, and has not been without one since. He’s operated live-aboard dive charters in the Channel Islands off southern California, worked with the US Navy, and has taken passengers to see molten lava from Kīlauea volcano pour into the ocean. In 1994, in Kawaihae he worked as a captain for Universal’s motion picture, Waterworld, starring Kevin Costner, and keenly noticed some of the best sailing conditions he had ever seen. That year, the state of Hawai‘i was in the process of building a new harbor in Kawaihae, and Steve added his name to the slip list hoping to sail here and maybe even make a couple dollars. Twenty years later, the new harbor was opened, and Kohala Sail & Sea was launched! Kohala Sail & Sea is the culmination of Steve’s dream to create his own sailing charter business from this amazing location and share this wonderful part of the Pacific Ocean with his guests.

In short, you can count on some great sailing and a good story or two when you book with Kohala Sail & Sea!

Riva, nicely making way

Riva, nicely making way . Ethan Tweedie Photography.